Why Is Addiction Counseling So Important Now?
To say we are living in very unusual and unsettling times is a serious understatement. One little micro-organism has thrown the whole world into a crisis. It affects all homo sapiens regardless of race, color, religious or political beliefs, etc. indiscriminately. Coping with life as an addict can be difficult under normal circumstances, and everything happening now has made it much harder for most of us.
Most people, whether we’re in recovery or not, have experienced incredible disruption in our daily routines. Many are unemployed and some are facing eviction due to financial difficulties. Responsibility for homeschooling is now a reality for many. The pandemic has also caused a great divide in this country in many ways. All in all, most aspects of our lives have been disrupted at a level never before experienced.
Several recent blogs have suggested ways individuals can survive a pandemic and protect our recovery. I’ve spoken to how recovery involves many dynamic elements: a solid sober support team that holds us accountable is important, as is attending support groups with peers having similar problems. Creating a personal relapse prevention program and the use of solid recovery literature are cornerstones to long term recovery for countless people. Recovery is still possible even during these trying times, but now I feel that it requires even more structure and assistance to establish and maintain a healthy routine and a stable life during such unstable times.
Therefore, my premise here is that due to the length of time the pandemic circumstances have persisted, it is now wise to consider strengthening your or your loved one’s recovery by consulting with an addiction counselor as well.
Benefits of Professional Counseling
Think of a company in crisis with challenges so big that the company is at risk of becoming overwhelmed and possibly failing altogether. Clearly a wise CEO would call in professional business consultants that would offer strategies based on knowledge and experience to help the company make adjustments and solve the problems. The goal would be to identify and leverage the things that have been working to increase their strength, while eliminating those that have failed. Additionally, new approaches that have been shown to be successful in maintaining productivity and success during a crisis would be implemented.
For individuals and families impacted by addiction in today’s unstable times, an addiction counselor functions like that business consultant. Different situations, same methodology. A professional counselor with specific skills and experience offers impactful solutions to ensure recovery success.
A professional addiction counselor and interventionist possesses the skills to help individuals and families find a balance once again, while successfully removing drugs and alcohol from the process.
Recovery Support Groups Are No Longer Enough
When I got into recovery decades ago, there were people we called “old-timers” who opined that recovery literature and meetings with a sponsor were enough and that professionals didn’t need to be consulted. However, my many years of training in addiction counseling and my own recovery experience have shown me that there is a clear reason to have addiction counselors involved in the recovery process. A certified, professional addiction counselor provides not only proven recovery skills but access to best practice therapeutic methods as well. The current complexity of recovery for individuals, in my opinion, requires a 12 step or similar support group, professional counseling and a strong recovery community.
Historically recovery support groups have always met in person. In these unprecedented times, many have been forced to take place online. While this format is still helpful for some, the important human contact of hugs, handshakes, etc. and the positive energy felt when in the presence of others is not possible in an online setting.
Mediation of Family Conflict
Addiction causes messy situations and complicated dynamics in families. Relationships are strained and even broken completely. Many resentments and sometimes even hatred exists toward family members where an active addiction has persisted for a long time. A key part of the healing process for the whole family after primary treatment is completed by the addicted loved one is family therapy with a professional counselor. In many cases counseling makes it possible for the family to regain feelings of love, trust and harmony with each other.
Many of us have been forced into spending significantly more time with family members which can trigger some of those old feelings. Increased levels of stress often re-open wounds or exacerbate existing ones. Thus, another reason the pandemic is a great time for families to consider professional therapy as a solution to maintain recovery and improve relationships.
The crisis we now face with the extreme social, economic, emotional and mental stressors are some of the greatest challenges that I’ve faced in my life. To be quite honest, my personal experience during this pandemic has left me feeling challenged in my own long-term recovery at times. Recognizing that these are not normal times, we must therefore be more vigilant and diligent than ever before to be successful in recovery.
The good news is that sobriety is still possible! My advice to readers is to be open minded and seriously consider hiring a professional therapist and/or interventionist to help you or your loved one begin recovery, or to reinforce an existing recovery program.
Just a reminder that in my practice not only do I offer interventions and addictive counseling for individuals and families, but also provide sober coaching and trauma resolution therapy. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I hope to talk to you soon if you have a need!
If you or a loved one may be struggling with addiction, it is very important for you to seek out professional help as soon as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I may be of assistance to you or your loved ones. My website provides more information on my practice and how to contact me with questions or take advantage of a free 20-minute phone appointment.
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